SSMRF and MRC supporting Microbiome and dementia Research

SSMRF launches campaign to raise awareness and funds for local dementia research

6 June 2024

The St George & Sutherland Medical Research Foundation (SSMRF), with the support of the Microbiome Research Centre (MRC), has kicked off a major end-of-financial year fundraising drive to support dementia and neurodegenerative disease research in the St George and Sutherland hospitals.

SSMRF was instrumental in the establishment of the MRC in 2017, following being awarded a federal government seed grant which was used to fund the MRC, Australia's first research centre solely dedicated to studying the microbiota in health and disease, at St George Hospital.

The “Unlocking hope for dementia research” campaign aims to raise awareness and funds for SSMRF medical research grants for promising new studies exploring better prevention, diagnostics and treatments for conditions like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and other forms of dementia.

While there is still no cure for neurodegenerative conditions, researchers funded by SSMRF grants are working tirelessly to better understand these complex diseases. More research is needed to uncover biological causes, develop early detection methods, explore treatments and study lifestyle factors that may reduce risk.

Although SSMRF grant recipients are making important strides, more funding is required to accelerate discovery.

Fueling scientific discoveries

“Dementia represents one of humanity's most daunting health challenges, with a rapidly growing number of Australians impacted each year,” said Pam Brown, CEO of SSMRF. “By donating to this campaign, the community can directly fuel scientific discoveries that could unlock new hope for millions of patients and their families.”

Funds raised will support dementia and neurodegenerative research projects conducted by scientists and clinicians at St George and Sutherland hospitals.  

Honouring Giuseppe Ferlaino

The campaign comes on the heels of SSMRF establishing the Giuseppe Ferlaino Research Grant, which specifically targets neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's and dementia. The grant honours the late Giuseppe Ferlaino and was established by his family to advance education and research into these conditions.

“We are incredibly grateful for the dedication of our local medical researchers who are working tirelessly to better understand, treat and hopefully one day prevent these devastating brain disorders,” said Pam. “With greater community support, we can accelerate their critical work.”

The Unlocking hope for dementia research campaign runs through 30 June 2024.

Make a difference this EOFY with a tax-deductible donation to SSMRF’s medical research grants.

Donate on the SSMRF website to help unlock hope for dementia research. 



Watch SSMRF “Unlocking hope for dementia research” video

“It was a great honour to interview Jonathan Brown, who was diagnosed with early onset dementia at 55; Giovanna Ferlaino, daughter of the late Giuseppe Ferlaino and co-founder of the Giuseppe Ferlaino Research Grant; and Dr Michelle Fitzmaurice, Postdoctoral Researcher at UNSW Microbiome Research Centre, for our SSMRF's Unlocking Hope for Dementia Research video. Watch the video online and be sure to share it with your friends and family so we can raise awareness and funds for our vital medical research grants program.” – Pam Brown


Written by Kristin Sinclair for SSMRF